Survivors of festival massacre tell police they saw woman mutilated
Survivors of Nova Festival massacre ‘saw woman being mutilated by Hamas before terrorist shot her in the head while raping her’, as more harrowing accounts of sexual violence during October 7 attacks are released
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Survivors of the Nova Festival massacre have told Israeli police they saw a woman mutilated by Hamas before a terrorist shot her in the head during a gang rape
Several people involved in the collecting and identifying of the bodies found in the aftermath of the October 7 attacks have recounted harrowing evidence of torture and murder to officials, describing how both festivalgoers’ genitals were shot at.
While few victims of the atrocities are thought to have survived, video testimonies of eyewitnesses detailing reports of sexual violence have been released by Israeli police.
‘There was one body of a woman that had a blood stain on her genitals, at first I thought she might have had a mishap out of fear,’ one woman at the horrific scene said. ‘When we picked her up we knew for sure that it was blood.’
Another told officers in a recorded clip: ‘Mainly there were a lot of gunshot wounds, also targeted shooting in the male genital area and we saw that a lot. They had a thing with sexual organs, both for women and men.
Survivors of the Nova Festival massacre have recounted the horrors of the October 7 attack to Israeli police. Pictured: Festivalgoers fleeing the party as Hamas launched its attack
One eyewitness, who was at the festival, spoke of how a woman was gang raped before she was mutilated
Other witnesses gave harrowing testimonies, recalling seeing women and men having their genitals shot at by Hamas terrorists
‘The women we received, they were civilians, we mainly saw either breast amputation or shooting just to the breast, simply shooting from one side of the breast to the other.
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‘They were conscious when they got to us. For the men it was their genitalia, shooting genitals, they had a thing with that, or amputation.’
In one of the horrific statements, a witness described seeing a female victim being passed from one attacker to another as they raped her, while she bled from her back.
The terror group went on to ‘cut her breasts’ before ‘throwing it onto the road’ and ‘playing with it’, the witness recalled.
Another man who was at the festival as the bloody incursion unfolded, told the BBC he could hear the ‘noises and screams of people being murdered, raped, decapitated’.
Ron Freger fled the music festival when Hamas attacked and said he heard women screaming for help.
‘I was lying in a pit and I hard a girl yelling ‘they’re raping me, they’re raping me”, he told Associated Press.
Several minutes later, he heard gunshots close by and she fell silent, he said.
Footage showed of a Hamas terrorist launching fire on festivalgoers on October 7
One serving Israeli soldier, only using her first name Avigayil, told the BBC it was hard to know how many victims had been raped, as some of the bodies had been burnt
‘The feeling in that moment is one of complete powerlessness. I’m lying in this hole and I have no ability to do anything,’ the 23-year-old explained. ‘I have no weapon, I have nothing, I’m surrounded by other people who are hiding with me and we’re completely powerless.’
Israel’s Women’s Empowerment Minister May Golan told the BBC that very few victims of rape or sexual assault had survived the attacks. Those that did are undergoing psychiatric treatment.
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‘But very, very few (survived). The majority were brutally murdered,’ she said. ‘They aren’t able to talk – not with me, and not to anyone from the government [or] from the media.’
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, priority was given to identifying bodies and not preserving evidence.
Now Israeli police say they are combing through 60,000 videos seized from the body cameras of Hamas gunman. Footage from social media and security cameras will also be looked at in a bid to bring the perpetrators to justice.
It has been hard to find rape survivors, however, as many were killed by their attackers.
A serving solider, who only used her first name Avigayil, spoke of how it was difficult to define how many victims were sexually assaulted during the attacks.
The solider told the BBC: ‘I’ve dealt with more than a few burned bodies and I have no idea what they went through beforehand. And bodies that are missing the bottom half – I also don’t know if they were raped. But women that were clearly raped? There are enough. More than enough.’
Benjamin Netanyahu accused international women’s rights groups of ignoring the reports of rape and assault
Women with orange tape over their mouths hold signs as they gather in Whitehall on Sunday for the protest
Hours after the video footage of the most recent testimonies were released, US President Joe Biden spoke of how women had been repeatedly raped and mutilated at the music festival.
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Speaking in Boston last night he said: ‘Reports of women raped — repeatedly raped — and their bodies being mutilated while still alive, of women’s corpses being desecrated, Hamas terrorists inflicting as much pain and suffering on women and girls as possible and then murdering them. It is appalling.’
It comes after the IDF claimed that Hamas terrorists shot female Israeli soldiers ‘in the crotch, intimate parts and breasts’ as part of a ‘systematic genital mutilation’.
Army reservist Shari Mendes said many bodies of female victims from October 7, both civilian and soldiers, arrived ‘in bloody shredded rags or just in underwear’.
The soldier had been speaking at Shura Army Base in central Israel, was speaking at a UN event in New York on Monday titled ‘Hear Our Voices: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the October 7 Hamas terror attack’.
She said: ‘Our team commander saw several female soldiers who were shot in the crotch, intimate parts, vagina, or shot in the breast.
‘This seemed to be a systematic genital mutilation of a group of victims.’
‘These women arrived with their eyes opened, their mouths in grimaces, their fists clenched,’ she added.
An Israeli solider walks through the grounds of the Super Nova Festival in Re’im, southern Israel, following the horrific October 7 attacks
Israeli soldiers pay their respects on November 29 to those who died at the festival ground
‘The soldiers that we dealt with had expressions of agony on their faces still.
‘I remember one young woman whose arm was broken in so many places it was difficult for us to lay her arm in the burial shroud, her leg too.
‘In her case the entire left side of her body was shredded, torn apart, most likely by a grenade.’
While investigators are still trying to determine the scope of the sexual assaults, Israel’s government has accused the international community – particularly the United Nations – of ignoring the pain of Israeli victims.
READ HERE: Hamas shot female Israeli soldiers ‘in the crotch, intimate parts and breasts’ as part of ‘a systemic genital mutilation’: IDF reveals many victims’ corpses still had agonised looks on their faces
‘I say to the women’s rights organizations, to the human rights organizations, you’ve heard of the rape of Israeli women, horrible atrocities, sexual mutilation – where the hell are you?’ Benjamin Netanyahu said speaking in English to make his point.
Earlier this week the UN’s Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women was blasted as a ‘disgrace’ for ‘staying silent’ on reports of women being raped and tortured by the terrorist group.
It finally broke its silence and condemned the report on Friday – 57 days after the claims were first made.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Saturday morning UN Women said: ‘We reiterate that all women, Israeli women, Palestinian women, as all others, are entitled to a life lived in safety and free from violence.’
In a follow-up post it added: ‘We unequivocally condemn the brutal attacks by Hamas on Israel on 7 October. We are alarmed by the numerous accounts of gender-based atrocities and sexual violence during those attacks.’
But the time it took to address the issue brought fury from some. Protesters slammed the organisation standing outside Whitehall on Sunday holding pictures of women kidnapped by Hamas.
Speaking on Sky News, Israel’s ambassador to Britain Tzipi Hotovely said: ‘It took over 50 days for the UN women’s organisation to condemn something that is so clear.
‘Why and how come it took the UN women’s organisation 50 days to deal with that?
‘It was part of Hamas’ plan, to use sexual violence against women, and we want to make sure the world understands what we are dealing with. Hamas brutally murdered and raped innocent women.’
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